By Fred Liggett
FredL@lstribune.net

The Kansas City Royals returned home on Tuesday, June 12 to begin an eight-game home stand and an interleague series with the National League’s Cincinnati Reds. The quick two-game set with the Reds saw the Royals face a team struggling so far in 2018 sitting in last place of the NL Central Division.

Tuesday’s game had a patriotic flavor thanks to some red, white and blue colors easily seen throughout the ballpark. The Reds and Royals had the red and blue covered, the white came from the 20,000 T-shirts handed out to fans on a T-shirt Tuesday Night. Once the game began over 20,400 fans were entertained by a pitching duel between Royals’ Ian Kennedy and the Reds’ Sal Romano. Royals’ rookie Hunter Dozier’s fifth inning home run and the Reds’ Tucker Barnhart’s ninth inning home run was all the scoring in the game’s first nine innings. The decisive blow came in the tenth when the Reds’ Joey Votto hit a three-RBI triple helping the Reds to a 5-1 win.

Wednesday night saw another pitcher’s duel as the two teams were shutout through six innings. The Reds’ Tyler Mahle and Royals’ Jason Hammel were the pitchers dueling on this night that ended with a 7-0 Reds’ win. Three errors proved to be the undoing for the Royals. The two game sweep to the Reds dropped the Royals to last place in the AL Central Division with a record of 22-46.

The home stand continues over the weekend with a three-game series against the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros. The Royals have plenty of promotions over the three days including a way to honor dad on Father’s Day. A season-long celebration of the Royals 50th anniversary season continues on Saturday with alumni players signing autographs. The first 10,000 fans will receive a 50th anniversary hat. Sunday the first 10,000 males will get BBQ tongs. Both Saturday and Sunday’s games with the Astros start at 1:15 p.m.